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NPC, Heartland Championship draws released

Taranaki rugby
Taranaki will attempt to go back-to-back during the 2024 NPC. PHOTO: NPC

The National Provincial Championship (NPC) and Heartland Championship draws for the 2024 season have been confirmed.


The NPC is set to kick-off on Friday, August 9 at 5.35pm when the defending champions Taranaki host the season opener against Counties Manukau at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium. 


The follow day, the Deep South Derby between Southland and Otago, aka 'Stag Day', also features in Round 1 at Invercargill's Rugby Park.


Hawke’s Bay put the Ranfurly Shield on the line for the first time of the season against Southland in Round 2 at Napier's McLean Park (kick-off 4.35pm) and Northland have a potential Shield challenge in Round 3.





All 12 Heartland teams will compete in an eight-week round robin, with the top-four teams progressing to the Meads Cup semifinals and the next four going through to the Lochore Cup semifinals.


The competition kicks off on Saturday, August 17 at 2pm with a Bill Osborne Taonga challenge match between Ngati Porou East Coast and Buller at Whakarua Park in Ruatoria.


A repeat of the Meads and Lochore Cup finals also headline the opening round, which sees Whanganui welcome South Canterbury to Cooks Garden (Meads) and West Coast take on Poverty Bay at Greymouth's John Sturgeon Park (Lochore)


Three-time champions (2021, 2022, 2023) South Canterbury enter the season on the back of a 31-game winning streak and will welcome their fans back to their spiritual home of Fraser Park in Timaru for the first time since 2021 when they host Wairarapa-Bush in Round 2 on August 24.


King Country and Thames Valley will meet under the new lights at Te Kuiti's Rugby Park in Round 3, with the fixture set to kick-off at 5.30pm.

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